If we are going to be kind, let it be out of simple generosity, not because we fear guilt or retribution.
- J.M. Coetzee
Last week I shared how to pray for those in the military. My thought wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t also share how to pray for the families of those serving.
These men and women–parents, spouses, children and more–struggle with so much while the ones they love are in harm's way.
I know first-hand just how important those prayers are. Without a doubt, it was the prayers of those around me that got me through those difficult times. Just like praying for a soldier, though, it can be hard to know exactly where to focus our prayers for these families. The need is so great, we almost don’t know where to begin. This is the list I go to when I sit down to pray for those with a loved one in the military:
Fear is never pleasant, but fear for a loved one’s safety can make deployment a nightmare of worry and stress. Releasing loved one’s wellbeing to God can keep him safe and give us the relief we need to survive.
Feeling at peace when your soldier is in danger doesn’t seem possible. It is, though, when you add God to the equation. Let him reassure you about the future, as well as carry you through the present.
Developing patience can exhaust the most saintly among us. Trying to cultivate the trait during wartime is insanity–until we turn to God. He can give us the strength we need to endure the time, providing a helping of joy as well.
Trusting God to take care of the people we love is hard enough when they’re close by. Doing so when they’re at war takes a strength beyond imagination. God is able to give us that ability and grow our faith–all while keeping those we love safe from harm.
Being strong involves a lot more than just physical feats. When we call out to God, he will give us that inner core of strength that affects every aspect of who we are.
Deployment is tough enough without the additional emotions that often come boiling to the surface. God can calm these passionate waves and give us the peace we so desperately need to cope with everyday life.
Relationships, whether they’re parent-child, spouse or close friends, are never more difficult than when we’re separated by miles. God can bridge that gap and give us a relationship that’s even stronger once we’re reunited.
Whether you’re one of those family members, or someone faithful to pray for them, I’d love to know how you’d add to the list.
Edie Melson is a leading professional in the publishing industry. She also knows what it’s like to send a loved one off to war. Her oldest son went from high school graduation, to Marine Corp boot camp, to Iraq; where he served two tours fighting on the front lines as an infantry Marine. Fighting Fear: Winning the War at Home When Your Soldier Leaves for Battle, is Edie’s heart project. Look for her two newest books for military families debuting in 2014: While My Son Serves and While My Husband Serves. You can also connect with Edie on Twitter and Facebook.